Average hourly pay
Last updated 3 August 2021 - see all updates
1. Main facts and figures
This page will not be updated with 2020 data. This is because the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is reweighting the data we use for this page, to account for the effects of population changes and COVID-19 on labour market statistics.
- in 2018, employees from the Indian ethnic group had the highest average hourly pay out of all ethnic groups (£13.46)
- employees from the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group had the lowest (£9.62)
- the average hourly pay for White employees was £11.87
- between 2013 and 2018, employees from the Indian ethnic group had the highest hourly pay every year
- employees from the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group had the lowest hourly pay every year
- the combined average hourly pay for all ethnic groups went up from £10.54 to £11.82 (a 12.1% increase)
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data measures the average (median) gross hourly pay for all employees aged 16 and over in the UK.
Figures have been rounded to the nearest pence. Some totals may not add up because of rounding.
Not included in the data
The data does not include:
- earnings of more than £100 per hour – high values are not very common, so excluding them allows the survey to give more accurate estimates
- sample sizes of less than 30 – this is to protect people’s confidentiality and because the numbers are too small to make any reliable generalisations
How average hourly pay is calculated
Average hourly pay is worked out using:
- employees’ gross pay before any deductions for things like tax and National Insurance
- the median, which is the middle point of a range of numbers arranged in order
The ethnic groups used in the data
The data uses the ethnic categories from the 2011 Census.
Data is aggregated for each of the Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups, which means estimates are shown for these groups as a whole. Data is shown separately for White British and all other White people (‘White Other’ ethnic group). Separate estimates are also shown for 3 Asian ethnic groups (Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi, and Asian Other).
Some households contain people from different ethnic backgrounds. The ethnicity assigned to the household is that of the head of the household (usually the person with the highest income). The data does not account for people of different ethnic backgrounds who live in the same household.
Ethnicity was not known for 0.05% of respondents in 2018. Data for people whose ethnicity was unknown is included in the averages for all ethnic groups ('All' in charts and tables).
Read the detailed methodology document for the data on this page.
Employees give their hourly rates of pay as part of the Annual Population Survey (APS). This is less precise than asking their employers for their payroll records. As a result, the APS is known to underestimate pay rates, but it is used here because other sources (for example, data on earnings and working hours) do not collect people’s ethnicity.
This analysis uses the median average. Find out more about differences between the mean and median.
The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about interpreting survey data, including how reliability is affected by the number of people surveyed.
In the data file
See Download the data for the number of people who completed the survey, adjusted to represent the whole population (labelled ‘Weighted denominator’ in the data file.)
Find out more about how weighting is used to make survey data more representative of the whole population.
3. By ethnicity over time
Summary of Average hourly pay By ethnicity over time Summary
4. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Office for National Statistics
Note on corrections or updates
Higher-level figures may differ from those published by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Office for National Statistics that use the Labour Force Survey.
Purpose of data source
The Annual Population Survey (APS) is the largest ongoing household survey in the UK and covers a range of topics, including:
- personal characteristics
- labour market status
- work characteristics
The purpose of the APS is to provide information on important social and socio-economic variables at local levels, such as labour market estimates.
The published statistics also allow the government to monitor estimates on a range of issues between censuses.
5. Download the data
Ethnicity, year, median hourly pay, mean hourly pay, denominator (weighted)